Stunning Glaziers Bay home ticks all the boxes
Dock4 Architects are rapt to be able to bring their affordable, environmentally friendly designs back into the market, writes JARRAD BEVAN
Light, warm, flexible and Tasmanian, Hobart architect Giles Newstead is thrilled to bring his fully modular, sustainable, locally-built houses back into the marketplace.
Giles and a fellow architect came up with the geneses of this design about 10 years ago.
The houses were marketed and built for a few years, later shelved, and now Giles has the idea back up and running under the name ehabitat.
Passive solar design is embedded in the concept of ehabitat.
“In some ways, we may have been a little ahead of our time,” he said.
“The market has caught up a bit with this sort of offering.”
Giles is the director of ehabitat and also a director of Dock4 Architects.
His uses different shaped models to build widely different plans that suit the needs of each owner – from a single bedroom house to a large family home.
“A modular system like this is a bit like a big Lego set when you are designing with it,” he said.
“There is also a prefabrication element to ehabitat’s post and beam construction that arrives on site precut and ready to bolt together.
“It’s all based around a 1200mm by 2400mm sheet size. Exteriors are often a cement sheet but there is a range of options available.
“The sheets sit in a frame of regrowth Tasmanian hardwood. Inside a home, we would use plywood, painted or left in its natural colour, which looks fantastic.
“As much as we can we used Tasmanian products.”
Due to the style of building these houses are “pretty speedy” to construct.
Giles said they can be “close to lockup” in just a few weeks.
“There is very little wastage, they can be put together very quickly. A new design that we will be launching soon will have double glazing and increased insulation as standard.
“The double glazing fits directly into a rebated frame, they plug straight in which keeps the costs down while allowing us to have plenty of windows for the passive solar and to take advantage of a property’s views.”
The name ehabitat has two elements, the “habitat” portion coming from the idea that “your habitat is more than just living inside your house.
“It’s about what is happening all around the building as well,” Giles said.
“When we design these houses, often the deck is an important, central courtyard. It is also about all the little alcoves and moving around the building at different times of year.
“The ‘e’ refers to the green, sustainable side of this project.”
Cost-wise, an ehabitat home is comparable to a standard architect-designed build. “Where you save a lot is the architect fees because the detailing has already been done, we don’t have to redraw from scratch for every unique house,” he said.